Long-time chronic illness bears many gifts; one of them may be that we have lots of time to reflect on our life path. Many of us become excluded from family, shunned by friends and forgotten-ed by past coworkers. Grieving the loss of loved ones is part of the human journey and sometimes, this kind of loss can come at us like a tsunami. Without warning we are left stranded by the people we love most who are simply no longer there in any capacity, not because we have done something wrong but because we are ill and will likely never get better. At a certain point, we have no other option but to ask for help. We have become dependant on the kindness of others, a situation that gives way to new relationships of a different nature as we learn to be grateful for freely given help and for that which we can afford to receive.
We have become anxious, forgetful, depressed and at times angry because our life is now a constant a struggle to find any measure of relief from pain, and sometimes just to survive, even to breathe. Most people can’t or won’t have another human being in such distress in their close circle, in their life. Simple as that.
So we grieve. Our heart so broken that it seems that we can never be whole again. We watch the sun rise each day and wonder how it can be when there is such darkness in our world. We listen to the beating of our heart and wonder how much pain it can bear. “Is this it? Is this all that my life is, now?” We ask the universe. We shed more tears than we thought possible for any one person to produce and still there are more. We sleep without feeling rested. Pain is our constant companion. Grieving continues. Day after day until one morning, we sense that perhaps the slightest weight has been lifted from our heart. Breathing is somehow, miraculously, a little easier!
This is the gift of acceptance, which gives way to an ever delicate, but oh so powerful sense of peace. The tsunami has not been forgotten but the new life that has blossomed in its wake is of a malleable nature rooted in a soil rich with courage, faith and resilience. We have survived and at times, have learned to let our heart soar with mere remnants of the life we used to know.
Now, each breath offers a new opportunity to be thankful for that one, simple, life-giving gift.
See you on the path of healing and beyond! Marianne